ACAT Meeting - December 15, 2022

Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, December 15, 2022
Start Time:1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location:Virtual Meeting
Meeting No:388
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes

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  1. Call to Order / Attendance
  2. Land Acknowledgement
  3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
  4. Approval of Agenda
  5. Remarks from ACAT Chair
  6. Acknowledgement of the 2022 Retiring ACAT Members and Introduction of the 2023 ACAT Members and Pool Members 
  7. Remarks from TTC Executive
  8. Outstanding Items – Review of ACAT meeting times
  9. Davisville Platform Width Motion Update 
  10. Deputation: Nil
  11. Review of Correspondence: Nil

Minutes of Meeting:

ACAT General Meeting

Meeting Date: 

Thursday, December 15, 2022
1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Virtual meeting via WebEx


Debbie Gillespie, ACAT Chair 
Bobbi Moore, Co-Vice Chair
Carmen Galvan, SPS Chair
Angela Marley, CS Chair 
Craig Nicol, DRS Chair
Lauri Sue Robertson, WTOS Chair
Gwyneth Dalzell 
Anita Dressler                                          
Lauren Foote 
Robert Hampson 
Sean Hollingsworth 
Lorraine Le Camp 
Erica Tanny
Howard Wax


Wangari Muriuki

TTC Representatives:

Natalie Poole-Moffatt, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer 
Cameron Penman, Head of Wheel-Trans
Heather Brown, Director of Customer Experience
Matt Hagg, Manager of Customer Policy, Strategy and Foresight
Dean Milton, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Wheel-Trans
Lodon Hassan, Acting Manager of Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
Mohammed Shaikh, Divisional Manager of Operations, Wheel-Trans
Ross Visconti, Project Manager, Wheel Trans
David LoPresti, Manager, Contracted Taxi Services, Wheel-Trans
Natashia Singh, Customer Experience Analyst, Strategy & Foresight
Arlen Orellana, Travel Specialist, Wheel-Trans
Stephan Boston, Chief Instructor, Bus Transportation Training Department 
Joe Lombardi, Chief Instructor, Bus Transportation Training Department 
Brittany Manu, Anti-Racism Policy Consultant, Diversity Department
Udita Sharma, Human Rights Consultant, Human Rights, and Investigations Department
Chris Hong, Customer Experience Analyst, Strategy & Foresight
Natalie Francis, Manager, Planning and Policy, Wheel Trans
Glen Buchberger, Head of Plant Maintenance DepartmentAugusta Ferguson, Co-op Student, Strategy & Foresight Adrienne Isaac, Administrative Assistant, Wheel-Trans 

Invited Guests:

Jeffrey Short, Senior Advisor, Universal Design, Metrolinx

Items Discussed

  1. Call to Order / Attendance
  2. Land Acknowledgement
  3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
  4. Approval of Agenda
  5. Remarks from ACAT Chair
  6. Acknowledgement of the 2022 Retiring ACAT Members and Introduction of the 2023 ACAT Members and Pool Members 
  7. Remarks from TTC Executive – Natalie Poole-Moffatt, Chief of Corporate Affairs
  8. Outstanding Items – Review of ACAT meeting times
  9. Davisville Platform Width Motion Update – Glen Buchberger    
  10. Deputation: Nil
  11. Review of York Station Correspondence
  12. Wheel-Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update from Cameron Penman
  13. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates
    - Communications
    - Design Review
    - Service Planning
    - Wheel-Trans Operations 
  14. New Business
    a. ACAT Advisory Role regarding Line 5
    b. Operator training and recertification 
    c. Video Presentation at the TTC Board Meeting 
  15. For ACAT Members’ Information 
    - ACAT New Member Orientation – January 10, 2023, at 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 
    - ACAT Executive Elections – January 16, 2023, at 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. 
  16. Next Meeting – January 26, 2023 
  17. Adjournment

1. Call to Order/Attendance

Debbie Gillespie, ACAT Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m. and attendance was taken by Lodon Hassan. 

2. Land Acknowledgement

The Land Acknowledgement was read by Debbie Gillespie. 

3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest


4. Approval of Agenda  

Debbie Gillespie suggested combining Agenda item #5 and Item #17.

Three items were added to the agenda under New Business:
a. ACAT Advisory Role regarding Line 5
b. Operator training and recertification  
c. Video Presentation at the TTC Board Meeting

Angela Marley brought a motion to approve the agenda as amended. Howard Wax seconded. Carried.  

5. Remarks from the ACAT Chair   

Debbie Gillespie stated that this is the last meeting of the year and she wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of the achievements of ACAT and the subcommittees, which was also presented at the recent TTC Board meeting. These highlights included the detailed and dedicated work of all of the subcommittees, the 30th Anniversary of ACAT and its accomplishments, communication to all customers, including accessibility improvement being beneficial for everyone.

6. Acknowledgement of the 2022 Retiring ACAT Members and Introduction of the 2023 ACAT Members and Pool Members 

Bobbi Moore, ACAT Vice Chair congratulated the retiring members of ACAT and stated that the great work of ACAT could not have been done without them. She acknowledged the new members beginning their term, the three-year from January 1, 2023, to December 31, 2025, and one-year from January 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023, and said that she was looking forward to working with them.

7. Remarks from TTC Executive 

Natalie Poole-Moffatt, Chief of Corporate Affairs, addressed the ACAT Chair and apologized for the issues with the video that occurred at the December 8, 2022 TTC Board Meeting. Natalie advised ACAT and diversity are top of mind for the executives at TTC and confirmed that they take this very seriously. She thanked ACAT, all retiring members and welcomed new members.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

The ACAT Chair explained to new members that this portion of the agenda is typical and often a different member of the TTC Executive makes remarks at each meeting.  They don’t always have an answer to a question, but they always report back.

A member commented on the recent incident on the subway train where a member of the public was injured, and another killed. She asked what the TTC was doing to increase safety on the TTC and reassure customers of their safety. Natalie Poole-Moffatt stated that their hearts went out to the families affected by this and that in the last few years’ people have been dealing with mental health issues. The TTC has many features in the stations, trains and buses to increase safety. This includes two-way communication in the stations, Special Constables and Transit Enforcement Officers, uniformed staff in the stations, emergency alarms, cameras, and advertising encouraging customers to report any suspicious activity through the TTC app. TTC is also actively working with all city partners to work on a new strategy to help customers feel safer.  

Cameron Penman, Head of Wheel-Trans added that Wheel-Trans also follows guidelines that include not leaving their passengers alone.  

A member commented that she has brought this up numerous times, that it is a very ableist view that mental health is related to violence. Although troubling incidents happen, they are often blamed on mental health, and it is distressing to think that this is what is being discussed by the TTC behind closed doors. She felt it was not an appropriate comment to be making. Natalie Poole-Moffatt apologized as this was not what she meant when making that comment.

A member thanked TTC staff for doing a fantastic job as these are challenging times.  She reminded everyone that all customers are responsible for reporting anything they notice on the TTC.  It is important to get this message out to all customers.  Overall, she felt that the TTC was doing a good job.

The ACAT Chair suggested this would be a good opportunity to get feedback from the ACAT members and the public for this, as she suspected there would be a lot of volunteers.

A member asked if the TTC has reached out to any other group except Streets to Homes and the TPS to engage with the community. She has found this particularly frustrating that they do not connect with other organizations. Natalie Poole-Moffatt stated that TTC has been working closely with Streets to Homes, the Special Constables and other city groups to reach out to the community members in need and they are very proud of their partnerships.

Another member suggested there are other groups TTC could reach out to that are grassroots. The member expressed concern about the context that TTC seemed to be talking about, as if mental health equals violence, which is inappropriate. This has been brought up several times and again suggested there are other organizations the TTC could reach out to.

A member stated that this is an important issue that TTC should be looking into. Her concerns were if she was conditionally registering for the accessible service, seeing this violence on the TTC would give her concerns on travelling on the transit system.

A member suggested involving the Travel Trainer in strategies TTC is working on and perhaps reach out to ACAT and former members for input and feedback.

A member reminded everyone that Toronto is a city of 3,000,000 people and incidents like this happen everywhere in the City. The TTC is doing what they can but things do happen in cities that are this size.

A member suggested the appeal panel for Wheel-Trans appeared to have deep flaws with the system which included communication issues, no information given prior to the meeting to prepare, and elements of the process related to a bigger issue. The member suggested the subject should be taken to one of the subcommittees for feedback. The member will be invited to either be on the Wheel-Trans Subcommittee or be invited to discuss these issues. The member was also asked to send Cameron Penman concerns about the Wheel-Trans appeal panel in writing so that it could be taken to the next meeting.

8. Outstanding Items 

The only two issues remaining on the outstanding list.  

a.  Appeals process for functional assessments – this has been moved to the Wheel-Trans subcommittee.

b.  ACAT meeting times – this has been given to the Diversity group for their input.  If it was not made clear at the last meeting this was discussed, it will be up to the Diversity group to provide suggestions but ultimately up to ACAT to decide to accept their suggestions or not. This item will stay on the Outstanding Items list.

9. Davisville Platform Width Motion Update – Glen Buchberger    

Glen Buchberger, Head of Plant Maintenance, provided a presentation on the Davisville platform width motions and addressed each one of the three individually.

a.  That the TTC as an interim measure mitigate restricted platform width by:
Immediately removing wind screens on the northbound platform which prevent circulation behind the columns.  Immediately implementing a communications and signage plan to encourage customers not to stand or wait along the narrow portions of both Davisville platforms, like the plan that is currently in place during ECLRT construction at Eglinton Station. 

Glen confirmed that removing the windscreens will be completed in spring of 2023 as some of the work cannot be completed in the winter.  New stainless-steel benches with arms will be installed where the old, red benches are.  New signs have been installed informing people not to congregate in the areas that are narrow on the platform.

b.  That the TTC undertake a study to consider bringing both the northbound and southbound minimum unobstructed platform widths into compliance with the OBC.
Glen explained that as the TTC will be moving out 1900 Yonge Street, they do not support changing of the two platforms at this time as this area is up for development and the TTC will have this in the scope of work for any development project.

c.  That once studies are completed the TTC consider funding a capital project to bring both Davisville northbound and southbound platform minimum unobstructed widths into compliance with the OBC.
Again, Glen explained that as they would be moving out of the building and this would be added to any scope of work with a developer, they would not be moving forward with this.  

Questions and Comments from Members

A member asked if there was a developer interested or if this project would be in the future. Glen advised it was targeted for 2027/2028. 

A member expressed concern about the efficiency of the signs, as people do not necessarily read them and for people who have low vision or are blind. Glen agreed to the point and will take this feedback back to the team.

A member stated that the windscreens that are being removed must have been installed for a reason and wondered if the TTC is taking this into account and mitigating accordingly.  She also asked if they were considering alternatives to the benches that would not limit larger mobility devices from passing safely, or fold down benches.  Glen Buchberger stated that they are not considering any other options for the benches and will communicate to the customers prior to beginning construction on the platform so they can take this into consideration when planning their trip.

A member suggested this is an example of ACAT making suggestions and the feedback being followed through at the TTC. This was a difficult decision, but when discussed at DRS, it was decided that the most important thing was safety of the passengers.

A member also commented that this was discussed, and it was found that safety was the most important part and suggested that perhaps DRS should discuss benches and passage and blocking assistive devices.

A member suggested ACAT could find a solution to both problems and not just one of them. Perhaps ACAT could make other suggestions for benches or shelters that could be safely added to this station.  Perhaps it should go back to the originating committee to look for alternative suggestions that would match different disabilities.

The ACAT Chair suggested this topic return to ACAT in 2023 for further discussion. 

10. Deputation: Nil   

11. Review of Correspondence:   

The ACAT Chair summarized correspondence received from a concerned customer regarding the York University Station, including escalators that do not go down, and unwelcoming station for people with different abilities. This included the angled stairs and the single elevator. ACAT members were asked if they have any suggestions and most members agreed this was not a station that they used.  

Comments and Questions from the Committee

A member stated that the website states that there are escalators going both up and down, but there is only one elevator. He concurs with the writer that the angled stairs are difficult and ACAT brought this to the TTC’s attention already.  

A member suggested having an ACAT member go to the York University Station to assess some of the issues and bring this back to the committee for feedback. She suggested the Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) investigate this further and bring back their findings and suggestions.

A member commented that the TTC website used to have a central listing of both the elevators and escalators at each station, but the escalator list has been removed. Heather Brown, Director of Customer Experience, was taking notes and will forward this to the digital team. It was also noted that the searches sometimes are missing information on the names of the stations, which might be a glitch, which will also be brought back to the digital team. 

12. Wheel-Trans Transformation and COVID-19 update from Cameron Penman  

Cameron Penman, Head of Wheel-Trans, provided an update about the solution assessment for phases five to eight of the Reservations, Scheduling and Dispatch software upgrades. He explained that Wheel-Trans is looking at the suggestions provided in the solution assessment which will help to shape the path forward for these phases. Current timelines suggest that these additional upgrades will begin in early 2024. Wheel-Trans continues to replace older vehicle models. 48 of the new 7 metre ProMaster buses are now in service. The existing mask mandate remains in effect for Wheel-Trans Operators and customers. Solo sedan taxi rides will continue but Wheel-Trans will look at the possibility of moving to shared rides on these vehicles in the New Year. Changes are coming to the pre-booking health questionnaire; customers will be asked to acknowledge a disclaimer on symptoms as opposed to being required to complete a questionnaire. Customers will be notified of the upcoming changes.

Cameron Penman thanked the retiring members and stated that the work done by the committee is very important. He wished everyone a Happy Holiday Season and welcomed the new members.

13. Subcommittee Reports and Highlights  

Communications Subcommittee (CS)

Angela Marley, CS Chair updated the members on the last Communications Committee meeting held on December 1, 2022. This included the marketing campaign for the 30th anniversary of ACAT, initiatives that the Communications Committee worked on, elevator outage information added to the website. Items to carry over to 2023 included the noise alert notification, ways to draw attention to the work of ACAT and ongoing promotion of ACAT recruitment and that applications are accepted throughout the year. She said that work on the station descriptions is ongoing, and a communication and education plan is underway for the public. The next meeting will be held in February 2023.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) 

Craig Nicol, DRS Chair, provided a summary of the DRS meeting held on November 30, 2022. They talked about the new Yonge North subway extension, which will add five additional stations to Line 1. There were two presentations, including Bridge and Clark Stations. Members were provided with the information for these prior to the meeting, so they were prepared with questions. They suggested that ACAT should have been included in the design plans.

DRS noted that the mobility device areas were not up to code and drew their attention that this required updating. The complexity of the Bridge Station, which included buses, GO, subway included the suggestion of implementing two paratransit stops and wayfinding, among other suggestions. A presentation for the proposed Steele’s Station will be presented in the New Year.   

The redesign of Cumberland Terrace building will require a length of time that the Bay Station is not accessible, and options were discussed to mitigate this, including moving the available bus stops. It was also suggested that the developer be asked to construct the end that would include an elevator to Bay Station first but that will still be years in the future.

Subway boarding announcements were discussed, and it is not feasible to try and create this at the terminal stations with the current software and systems. They were assured that the new system and trains will have this included. The software engineers have been asked if they can improve this in the current trains.

The next DRS meeting is to be decided. 

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) 

Carmen Galvan, SPS Chair summarized the minutes of the last meeting, which was held on November 2, 2022. Some of the highlights included the survey results and obtaining 3650 responses, which set out the key items valued by customers such as reliability, frequency, safety and communication.  They understood that information may not be important to them, however, it might be important to others. It was noted that travel patterns have changed, and that the TTC had to make changes to keep up. 2023 will include the opening of Line 5 potentially in the spring and Line 6 towards the end of the year, and closing of Line 3. All of this, it was noted, could change. The SPS noted that subway closings seemed chaotic and suggested that they take this feedback to the closures and diversion teams for implementation of new measures to make this smoother.  The TTC is working on making updates and changes in Scarborough, which includes route closures, changes and rerouting to help cover areas and the closure of Line 3.

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS)

Lauri Sue Robertson, WTOS Chair, advised there was no meeting in December and the next should be in February 2023. 

Questions and Comments by the Committee

A member reminded ACAT members that if there is a need for advice, meeting or any feedback, subcommittee members should try and make themselves available in January.  The Communications Subcommittee is expecting a draft newsletter to review, but any other subcommittee might request this. Another member confirmed that the DRS is expecting a meeting in January and as the new members would not yet be in place, to participate if possible.

14. Other Items / New Business  

a. Operator Training and Recertification 

Stephan Boston, Chief Instructor, Bus Transportation Training Department, confirmed that the on-site invitations would be sent to ACAT members for the operator training and recertification. This gives the ACAT members time to educate the bus drivers and give them feedback on their experiences. Adrienne Isaac and Lodon Hassan will send times to ACAT members, and it was suggested that if the new members would like to participate, that they attend a session with another ACAT member.  
Questions and Comments from Members

A member has provided lists and talking points that she has been working on that will also help guide members and should be included with the invitation.  

A member agreed that this would be a good addition for the new members as well and agreed it should be sent with the invitation.  It is important for them to provide feedback, both good and bad, to help educate the drivers.

A member agreed that adding the list would be helpful for the members and although this list is in the manual, suggested it would be helpful to attach it to the invitation.  

b. Line 5 Advisory Role

Angela Marley spoke about the Line 5 Advisory Role and attending the meeting in person to give a face to ACAT. She stated that they have the attention of the TTC Board members, and the Commissioner stated that when he attended an ACAT Zoom meeting, he found it very helpful and informative.  She also stated it was very invigorating to meet again in person, and encouraged ACAT to consider this as well, as often what happens outside the meeting times is informative.

Angela also stated that the upcoming projects are different than in the past, where ACAT reported only to the TTC, who reported back. Now, it involves provincially owned land, privately built transit and city run.  It has become more complicated and ACAT members will have to be aware.

c. TTC Board Video

Debbie Gillespie gave more details on the video mentioned by Natalie Poole-Moffatt earlier in the meeting. It involved a presentation by the TTC that was not provided in advance as text so she was unable to appreciate the message presented. She suggested that in the future anything public facing should be sent through a diversity and inclusion lens prior to release. 

d. Metrolinx Accessibility Update

Jeffrey Short had no updates but asked if there were any questions from ACAT members.  

Questions and Comments from the Committee 

Jeffrey Short mentioned that the questions and responses template for the ACAT visit to the station that they discussed at the meeting was put together and when it is available for distribution, will notify the TTC. ACAT members’ comments have been added. Jeffrey Short explained a follow up meeting will be planned for January 2023. Information will be shared with ACAT members prior to the meeting. The ACAT Chair suggested inviting all members that were at the station visit.

A member stated that the GO Bus terminal at Finch and Yonge has some accessibility issues that limit people’s access. Jeffrey Short explained that they have hired a company to do an accessibility audit on all of their stations, but they do have some limitations as they do not own all of the property or have the ability to make these changes or additions. He will raise this again with Matt Hagg for feedback as well as they wait for the audit.

15. ACAT Members Information 

a. New ACAT members information orientation meeting – January 10, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

b. New ACAT members Executive Elections – January 16, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Dean Milton, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, thanked the retiring members and welcomed new members. He stated that the TTC has a comprehensive Travel Training program that reviews the conventional system’s accessibility features and invited everyone to contact the Travel Specialist, Arlen Orellena, for a personalized session. Arlen can be reached by email at or by phone. 

16.  Next Meeting 

The next meeting is on January 26, 2023.

17. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:36 p.m. on a motion brought by Howard Wax. 

Cindy Edwards 
Recording Secretary 

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